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Opening Our Eyes

to H is F ullness

7G aining C hrist is a supernatural process .


It includes mysterious, other-worldly ele-
ments such as the acquisition of God’s
righteousness, and a participation in Christ’s
sufferings, death, and resurrection. To truly
“know Christ,” God Himself must swing wide the
gate to His vastness, His personality, His eter-
nity.
But this supernatural process begins with an
act of human volition. Jesus does not force any-
one to draw near to Him. If the believer chooses
to take up residence in a separate dwelling after
the marriage ceremony, then that is his or her
privilege. Just as there are husbands and wives
who choose to live as nothing more than legal
roommates, there are Christians who choose to
live physically and emotionally disengaged from
the One who longs to be their Lord.


Reflections by the Pond  •  No. 438  •  March 15, 2010 
Just what does it mean to “gain Christ”? In fication, he has failed to become all that he ter to the believers in Philippi.
the second issue of this series we quoted The can be—indeed, everything he should be.
Expanded Vine’s, where it said that gaining Parents the world over have a desire that …until we all attain to the unity of the
Christ was their children will grow not just in physical faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of
…so practically appropriating Christ to one- stature, but also in knowledge and wisdom, God, to a mature man, to the measure of
self that He becomes the dominating power that they will realize their full social, mental, the stature which belongs to the fullness
in and over one’s whole being and circum- of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to
stances. be children, tossed here and there by
waves and carried about by every wind
The late Baptist preacher and exposi- When my daily deeds of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by
tor, Alexander MacLaren, expanded on
craftiness in deceitful scheming; but
Vine’s succinct definition: ordinarily lose life and song, speaking the truth in love, we are to
[When we gain Christ] there is a real com- grow up in all aspects into Him who is
munication of His own life to us, and thereby my heart begins to bleed, the head, even Christ.
we live, as He Himself declared, “He that Ephesians 4:13-15
hath the Son hath life.” The true deep sense sensitivity to Him is gone.
in which we possess Christ is not to be
And here, in the words of the apostle,
weakened down, as it is, alas! so often is in
our shallow Christianity, which is but the I’ve run the race but set my own pace is the supernatural aspect of our gain-
echo of a shallow experience, and a feeble ing Christ: “…until we all attain to… the
hold of that possession of life. Christ is thus and face a shattered soul, knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature
Himself possessed by all our faculties, each man…” As if that were not of sufficient
after its kind; head and heart, passions and Now the gentle arms of Jesus challenge, Paul then finishes the sentence
desires, hopes and longings, may each have by giving us the standard by which we
Him abiding in them, guiding them with His warm my hunger to be whole. are to gauge our spiritual progress: “…to
strong and gentle hand, animating them
the measure of the stature which belongs
into nobler life, restraining and control-
ling, gradually transforming and ultimately to the fullness of Christ.” The only way that
conforming them to His own likeness. Till that can be accomplished—even pursued—is
Divine Indweller enters in, the shrine is empty, and spiritual potential. And that is what the by the supernatural offices of the grace of
and unclean things lurk in its hidden corners. Lord God desires for each of His children. God.
To be a man full summed in all his powers, In the context of his discussion on unity in
each of us must “gain Christ.”
In other words, every believer is born to
the body of Christ (that is, the church) written
to the believers in Ephesus, the apostle Paul

If there are Christians who choose to go their
gain Christ, and when a Christian chooses a draws from the same imagery and concepts own way, there are others who understand
different path—or no path at all—for sancti- that he used around the same time in his let- that any life without a knowledge of Christ is

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no life at all. If there are believers who have It is all there for us; all we need do is open
set eternity on the shelf, there are others who our eyes to the breathtaking, life changing
know that eternity has already begun. Magnificence before us. When we do, the
To be a child of God who chooses not to love of God, expressed most eloquently in
gain Christ is like being someone who stands the person of Christ, joins with the longings
on the rim of the Grand Canyon, but refuses of our heart, and all the fullness of Christ be-
to open his eyes to the grandeur lying at his comes available to us.
feet. Instead he elects to turn away, eyes still
closed, to continue on his melancholy way.

Oh, I want to know You more!


Deep within my soul I want to know You,
Oh, I want to know You.
To feel Your heart and know Your mind,
looking in Your eyes stirs up within me,
cries that say I want to know You
Oh, I want to know You more. the writings of
Oh, I want to know You more.
david s lampel
2 Co r. 4 : 5 - 7

© 2010 David S. Lampel. Unless otherwise indicated, all


Steve Fry Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible (Updated
Edition). Reflections by the Pond is published weekly. This
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